If you have the right tools, some dedicated helpers, and a little construction know-how, you might be considering replacing your own asphalt shingle roof. This is a decision that works well for many homeowners who are looking to save money, but have the time and other resources necessary to complete a roofing job. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners who elect to do their own roofing do make mistakes. Avoid these mistakes, and you'll reduce your chances of having to climb back onto the roof to make repairs every couple of months.
Mistake #1: Forgetting to apply starter shingles along the edge of the roof.
If you just start laying down regular strips of shingles at the edge of the roof, the lowermost portion of the roof will only be protected by one layer of shingles (since there is no underneath layer for it to overlap). This leaves this section of the roof vulnerable to leaks and rotting. Thus, the proper way to start shingling is to take a starter strip, which is a shorter strip of shingles, and lay it along the edge of the roof before you start applying the regular shingles. This way, there will be two layers of shingles under that lowermost portion of the roof -- the starter strip and the regular shingles.
Mistake #2: Not using enough nails.
In order to save time, some homeowners will attach their shingles with just two nails each. The shingles may feel secure when attached in this manner, but you can count on them giving way if a high wind comes through. Experts recommend using five nails per shingle in areas that receive heavy winds, and four nails per shingle in areas that receive average winds. It might take a little more time to pound in five nails per shingle, but you'll save yourself money and time in the long run, since you'll have to replace fewer shingles after bad storms.
Make sure you buy enough roofing nails for the project so you don't run out and have to return to the store. Using five nails per shingle, you should need 480 nails per square (1 square = 100 square feet) of roof. If you're using 4 nails per shingle, you'll need 320 nails per square.
Mistake #3: Not drawing chalk lines for each new row of shingles.
When you're laying down shingles, it might seem like you can eyeball it and end up with a straight row. However, this is harder than it seems, especially on a large roof. Attempt to shingle without measuring, and you'll likely find that your shingles start to get uneven and crooked -- and the only way to fix that is to start all over. Measure the distance up the roof for each new row of shingles, and use a chalk line tool to quickly draw a line in the tar paper so you know exactly where to lay the new shingles, all of the way across the roof.
Mistake #4: Leaving too much (or not enough) overhang.
Some homeowners, in an effort to do a "tidy" job, line their shingles up perfectly with the edge of the roof. Others are aware that they need an overhang, so they let a few inches of the shingle hang over into the gutter. Neither of these methods are correct. Shingles with too little of an overhang can allow water to leach into the edge of the roofing underlayment. Too much of an overhang could allow the shingles to be peeled off of the roof in a high wind. Ideally, you should allow an inch of the shingle to overhang the edge of the roof to avoid both of these issues.
Replacing your own roof is a big project. If you're planning to tackle it, avoiding the mistakes above will be the secret to success. If you don't feel comfortable doing it yourself, contact a company that does roof repairs.
How old is the front door on your home? Have you ever walked past the door and felt a cool breeze coming from under it? Could it be time to replace your front door, or can you repair the one that you have? My site is filled with advice and tips for learning when to replace and when to repair a front door. You can learn from my personal experience of living in older homes how to know when it is time to call it quits on the old stuff and invest in new. Hopefully, my failures and successes can help you avoid the failures and go straight for the success.